Whining About App.net @glennf @chartier @pth

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – 68 views

— by swilliams

Recently, there's been a bit of a dust up in the app.net developer community. Tapbots, seeing dipping sales, decided to make their Netbot apps free, in hopes of catching a bigger slice of the Developer Incentive pie. Some cried foul over this, but that's just shortsighted.

Let's talk hypotheticals. Say you have a fancy app.net iOS client and sell it for $5. And, let's say it is very successful and captures a third of the market. App.net has about 30,000 users, so that's $50,000. Minus Apple's cut makes it $35,000. Which, while more than I make in a week, is a very far cry from a sustainable business. Even if you add in growth of app.net (let's say 1,000 users per month, which is also generous), it's still not very much.

Currently, app.net gives out $20,000 per month. A third of that is about $6,500, and that's not beholden to Apple's cut. And while your won't be buying a private island with that kind of money, it's enough to potentially make things worthwhile.

I'm guessing Tapbots did the math and realized how futile it was. Don't hate them for realizing that.

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